15 Reasons to Start (or Not Start) Blogging

History will remember, or not remember, July 15, 2015 for many things. This is Prime Day, an event Amazon created and suggests will be bigger than Black Friday. ESPN will continue to receive support and admonishment for awarding Caitlyn Jenner, the Olympic decathlete formerly known as Bruce, the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at its annual ESPYS Awards show. Some people will notice, while others will not, as Linda Eaton Hall-Fulcher tries to get traction for National Give Something Away Day as a national holiday. For me, 7/15/15 will be a monumental day, or it won’t.

For many years I have debated the merits and pitfalls of blogging. This would seem to be an easy decision for a member of the “publish or perish” world of academics. I write and speak for a living. However, it is not an easy decision at all.

Today I have elected to take my debate public. In the green corner, 15 reasons to start blogging. In the red corner, 15 reasons to not start blogging. This day — 7/15/15 — could be my beginning or my beginning of the end. In subsequent days I will expound upon each point/counterpoint. For now, here are the key components in my debate.

1.  Blogging provides a platform that traditional academic publishing does not./Blogging is not peer reviewed and thus not academic or scientific.

2.  Anyone can create a blog./Anyone can create a blog.

3.  What do I have to lose?/What do I have to gain?

4.  Build it and they will come./Build it and they will come tear it down.

5.  The academic publication process takes years./Blogging takes minutes.

6.  Blogging takes minutes./The academic publication process takes years.

7.  Where do I find the time?/There is no time like the present.

8.  This will hurt me at my day job./This will help me at my day job.

9.  Do I really have that much to say? [Yes, it is just rarely written down, especially for the world to see. No viable counterpoint.]

10. If I do this, I must remember that it is poor taste to discuss politics or religion. It is safer to void those topics!/I think, I vote, I pray. If a worthy political or religious issue surfaces, I will not shy away from it.

11. What if my thoughts and written words are not that unique or interesting to anyone but me?/What if I identify a tribe?

12. At the original ESPYS, Jim Valvano said if we laugh, we think, and we cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day./Writing about things that are funny, thoughtful, and emotional, even if it moves someone to tears, sounds like a good place to start.

13. Am I ready to take this kind of risk?/Am I ready to reap this kind of reward?

14. If I do this, I should model a successful blogger who generates a great deal of traffic?/If I do this, I should be the best Tracy Suter I can be … without clickbaiting.

15. I am not sure I am ready to give it the old college try./There is no try. Fail Harder.

These are the main points and counterpoints — my angel on one shoulder and devil on the other shoulder — I am grappling with as I fully consider this journey. This is also my way of saying welcome to TracySuter.com, especially as I revisit each of these items in the near future. Please feel free to share advice, perspective, or simply feedback on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

5 Comments

  1. Drew

    I’m on the fence. I have long debated this with myself. Part of me says “the time to blog and be followed is gone”

    • Drew: I understand and appreciate your comment. I plan to address this more directly with point 14. Until then, I think blogs and earned media entities are simply more integrated, not that blogging and following is completely gone.

  2. Peggy Powis

    As an elder and former student, I need to know if this signs me up to get your blog. I am delighted you have decided to make your thoughts so public. You might remember my marketing group thought Amazon didn’t have a prayer! I would like for your blog to be posted on my FB page but I haven’t a clue as to how to make that work…..oh, happy belated birthday, btw (is that right?)……:’)

    • Peggy: It is always fantastic to hear from you. Thanks for supporting my blogging efforts. Yes, I remember your Amazon project from our Tampa days. In fact, I still have the report. As I add site features, subscription will be at the top of the list. Until then, I will make sure it gets posted to your FB page. I appreciate your birthday wishes. I’m still a young man in my own mind.

  3. Jess Kyle

    Well I shall tune in to see your thoughts on each of those points! May I add one more green? There are likely many folks who used to have the opportunity to hear what you had to say on a regular basis, and would enjoy having that again. Actually I guess that’s just a bullet under #11.

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